YEP Letters February 7

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Impact of rail strikes on high street

Mrs C Coburn, Ackworth

I MAY be mistaken, but I haven’t once seen any reference to the rail strikes which have taken place every Saturday from November and now into February being one of the causes of the drop in high street sales.

I, for one, have not been able to get to where I wanted to go by train – and buses take too long. I have to make too many changes to make a journey.

If shoppers using public transport cannot easily get to where they want to go, they don’t go and gift vouchers are sent, or bank transfers are made instead.

Many of the former BHS stores are still empty on the high streets. It is really depressing.

Review should reduce city’s housing target

Coun Tom Leadley, West Ardsley

This week sees the start of the Leeds Core Strategy Selective Review (CSSR) planning public inquiry, which will last until the end of the month.

Although a technical process unlikely to draw large attendances, it is important to the future of Leeds, particularly where greenery is valued. Above all it should reduce the city’s house building target, as well as dealing with some smaller matters.

Since 2007, when inflated targets averaging more than 4000 new dwellings a year began to be promoted in the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), to confirmed in the Leeds Core Strategy of 2014, I have been their most consistent and accurate critic in meetings of Leeds City Council and its committees.

Much greenfield land was lost unnecessarily in pursuit of those targets until the end of 2017. Since then the tide has been slowed noticeably, if not actually turned.

City Council officers so far have backed down from their long favoured 70,000 dwellings in 16 years to 51,952 in the 16 years from 2017 to 2033, but, there is scope for further reduction.

For several years my 16-year target has been 46,000 – a level increasingly supported by strengthening evidence. That is 5,952 dwellings fewer than the LCC draft target and could save another 595 acres of greenfield land which might be occupied by houses built at the customary 10 to the acre.

Feeling pinch of Dry January

John Haran, by email

it was intresting to read about one of Leeds’ landlords concern that Dry January has on the pub business, and what novel things they are doing to get customers in during this time.

I have taken part for the last three years in this annual abstinence. Although not a frequent customer of the pubs around Leeds these days, I often buy wines and beers during the year from my local supermarkets. It would be also interesting to find out if supermarkets and off licences also feel the pinch of Dry January and what effect if any it has on them.

Keeping head below parapet

David Downs, Sandal

I CONGRATULATE Michael O’Sullivan on his excellent letter (YEP, February 4) about the Brexit stance of various Labour MPs, but why miss out Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett?

I suggest that it might be because Mr Trickett keeps his head below the parapet and curries favour with whoever is leading his party. He seems to be busy playing party politics and sending emails, like he has done in the last few days, asking every government department how many employees they employ on various projects.

What is democracy?

Paul Muller, Sandal

WHAT is democracy? The people can change their minds and vote every four or five years for the government that they want.

This is what happens in most Western nations. What is dictatorship? The people cannot change their minds and cannot vote for a change under penalty of imprisonment or execution.

Let councils make decisions

Hilary Andrews, Leeds

I WAS amazed to read that local councils are not allowed to contract local firms to do jobs such as filling in potholes etc.

This must be why our council tax goes up every year and many local tradesmen go bust.

It really is time that councils were allowed to make such decisions.

We would get better service and they would have to take responsibility for their actions instead of passing the buck to the Government.

Run to help beat meningitis

Michaela Ifill, Events Fundraiser, Meningitis Now

We’re encouraging readers to lace up for the world’s largest half-marathon – the Great North Run – and help the UK’s largest meningitis charity beat the deadly disease.

Meningitis Now wants anyone lucky enough to have secured a place in the ballot to join its Team Tangerine and tread through Tyneside on Sunday September 8 for us. Those unlucky in the ballot can still take part with one of our guaranteed places, for a registration fee of £25 and a fundraising pledge of £300.

Either way, full support will be given for the 13.1-mile challenge. Our runners receive a complimentary technical running vest, a handy information pack with tips on how to prepare and an invite to our post-race reception with refreshments and sports massage. By running for us you’ll be helping to fight meningitis with every stride and move us one step closer to our vision of a future where no one in the UK dies from meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need. Last year our runners collectively raised a fantastic £35,315 – we are so proud of you all for taking on this tough yet rewarding challenge.

This year we’d like to do even better. Sadly, meningitis and septicaemia continue to affect thousands of people in the UK and kill more under-5s than any other infectious disease.

Help us fight back on all fronts by funding research to eradicate the disease, raising awareness and supporting survivors.

To find out more and sign up email michaelai@meningitisnow.org or call me on 01453 768000.

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